Want to work in derivatives? Australia offers options (and futures)

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It's not exactly booming, but Australia's job space for financial derivative specialists is steadily expanding.

Demand for derivatives managers, traders and quantitative analysts is being driven primarily from the four major trading banks - ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac - and investment bank Macquarie.

As investment product offerings become more sophisticated, the banks are increasingly seeking to hire experts in synthetic instruments based around interest rate, foreign exchange, equity and commodity options.

"Little by little the market over here is growing," says Rick Jansz, managing consultant, IT and financial markets, for BSI People, which is regularly recruiting in the derivatives area.

"It's a growing market over here, but obviously not as big as London, Europe or in Asia. There are a few banks looking for derivatives traders, sales people, quantitative analysts and others that have had some equities derivatives experience."

Technical derivatives specialists with skills in modelling and pricing are generally not in the running - unless they have a PhD in a quantitative discipline.

While entry level positions in derivatives are generally in the 20,000 ($A50,000) range, an experienced derivatives operations manager can easily demand upwards of 50,000 ($A130,000) plus bonuses, which can range anywhere from 30% up to a staggering 200%.

"We've been filling a number of derivatives roles with ANZ and National Australia Bank," says Mathew McGilton , a consultant at recruitment firm Gemmell Ovenden Walsh.

BSI People's Jansz says Hong Kong and Singapore remain the power regional markets for derivatives job opportunities.

"But Australia's not a bad place because you've got still quite a bit of growth to come."

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